A status assessment of selected data synthesis products for ocean biogeochemistry
Ocean data synthesis products for specific biogeochemical essential ocean variables have the potential to facilitate today’s biogeochemical ocean data usage and comply with the Findable Accessible Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data principles. The products constitute key outputs from the Global Ocean Observation System, laying the observational foundation for information and services regarding climate and environmental status of the ocean. Using the Framework of Ocean Observing (FOO) readiness level concept, we present an evaluation framework for biogeochemical data synthesis products, which enables a systematic assessment of each product’s maturity. A new criteria catalog provides the foundation for assigning scores to the nine FOO readiness levels. As an example, we apply the assessment to four existing biogeochemical essential ocean variables data products. In descending readiness level order these are: The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT); the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project (GLODAP); the MarinE MethanE and NiTrous Oxide (MEMENTO) data product and the Global Ocean Oxygen Database and ATlas (GO2DAT). Recognizing that the importance of adequate and comprehensive data from the essential ocean variables will grow, we recommend using this assessment framework to guide the biogeochemical data synthesis activities in their development. Moreover, we envision an overarching cross-platform FAIR biogeochemical data management system that sustainably supports the products individually and creates an integrated biogeochemical essential ocean variables data synthesis product; in short a system that provides truly comparable and FAIR data of the entire biogeochemical essential ocean variables spectrum.